“Tales on Stage” – Residency of Théa Haug & Stef Ulonka
“Tales on stage” is a stage adaptation of classical tales in drag performances mixing storytelling, physical theater and circus elements. Central to this project is the idea that the body itself can tell stories through its interaction with costumes and props. The magical element of fairytales becomes a resource to represent body fluidity and gender metamorphosis beyond the binary.
This project is a development of “The Not So Little Mermaid”, a 10mn solo act that the artist created in summer 2022 and presented in Berlin, Dresden and Leipzig (Germany). In a personal interpretation of Andersen’s famous fairytale, they reflected on my their gender transition. The body transformation of the mermaid appeared as a quest toward a transfeminine erotic.
In a second step of their work, they now want to adapt another story written by Andersen called “The Shadow”. Through a supernatural communication with its own shadow, a man experiences an encounter with his concealed self and goes through a radical shift in his life. In a queer interpretation of this text, the artists wants to grasp and express the complexity of an inner coming out as a trans person.
During the two weeks of Residency at Trust-collective, the artist will work at the intersection between textual and body practices. On the one hand, they intend to develop my queer interpretation of Andersen’s tale by rewriting it in their own fashion. For this, they will research further on the topic of gender roles in traditional fairytales, and more specifically its emancipatory orientation in Andersen’s works. On the other hand, they will explore new embodied techniques of storytelling. They might use again some elements of dance, physical theater and contact juggling. They also want to implement new possibilities to express two different characters with a single body, like interplay between make-up, mask(s), voice transformation.
This residency would be a first research step in a longer creation. The aim is not to end up with a final product, but to try out methods and share my first results in an encouraging and inspiring context.
Théa Haug (stage name: NymPH Etamine) is a writer, drag and circus artist active in Berlin queer community. Her artistic practice reflects on her personal experience as a transfeminine person working in educational field. She currently explores gender metamorphosis through performances relying on subversive interpretations of classical fairytales and challenging the boundaries between human and non-human creatures. In a previous life, she studied philosophy and wrote a PhD in socio-ecological politics in the work of K. Marx. Leaving the academical field in 2022, she decided to dedicate fully to her artistic practice while giving a new embodied shape to her reflection on queer ecologies.